Thiruvananthapuram T20I: All to play for India, Australia

India's captain Suryakumar Yadav during a practice session on the eve of Sunday's second T20I against Australia at the Sports Hub in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: KCA

India meet Australia in the second match of the five-game Twenty20 International (T20I) series at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday night. The hosts are leading 1-0, courtesy of an exciting two-wicket win in a high-scoring opener at Visakhapatnam. 

Stand-in skipper Suryakumar Yadav was quick to get over the huge disappointment of coming second best to the Aussies in the ICC World Cup final, with a swashbuckling 80 off 42 balls, while Ishan Kishan and Rinku Singh too were among the runs. 

Both sides, who have many regular players missing in their ranks, will take Sunday's clash as another step towards finding the right mix ahead of next June's T20 World Cup to be held in the West Indies and the US. The Aussies under Matthew Wade will be eager to bounce back and draw level. Another defeat will see them go 0-2 down and will make their target of winning the series tougher. 

India have packed their batting with left-handers as the top seven featured five southpaws in the first game. The openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal will be keen to make it count. Gaikwad was run out without facing a ball for no fault of his in Visakhapatnam, while Jaiswal fell for an eight-ball 21. Kishan, Surya, the hugely talented Tilak Varm and finisher Rinku make it a power-packed batting unit. 

Australia too have a star-studded batting line-up. It will be interesting to see whether World Cup heroes Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell take the field after sitting out of the opener. The likes of last match centurion Josh Inglis, Tim David, Matthew Short and Marcus Stoinis will surely test the Indian bowling attack. 

Indian players after a practice session on the eve of Sunday's second T20I against Australia at the Sports Hub in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: KCA

Pacers Prasidh Krishna, Arshdeep Singh and rookie Mukesh Kumar have their task cut out. Leggie Ravi Bishnoi will be aiming an improved display after being smashed around in the first match. Mukesh and a fit-again Axar Patel were the pick of the Indian bowlers in the opener. 

The Australian bowlers barring left-arm pacer Jason Behrendorff had a forgettable game at Visakhapatnam. But one can trust the Aussies to strike back. 

The Aussies will be eager to draw level. File photo: PTI/Shahbaz Khan

The last T20I played at Greenfield was over as a contest inside three overs, with South Africa losing half their side for just nine. Arshdeep and  Deepak Chahar got the ball to move around and the Proteas batters were all at sea. South Africa eventually managed 106 and India went on to win the match by eight wickets. 

The team winning the toss is likely to bowl first. Teams nowadays prefer to chase and knowing the target is a huge advantage, especially with the threat of rain around.

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